How I turned my Legs into Calorie Burning Machines

Muscles of the front of the leg.
Image via Wikipedia

My lower leg has transformed into a beautiful piece of art. Were I to shave it, it could serve as a shining example of the muscles of the lower leg; you can almost see the fibers of my tibialis anterior; heck I never even knew I had a muscle on the front of my leg. My new and improved lower leg is balanced, beautiful and it burns more calories with each step.

Why does it burn more calories?

As you may know I’m recovering from a torn soleus. I ripped it by doing too many eccentric heel drops and attempting to “run  through lower leg pain”. Big mistake. But I learned my lesson.

Whilst recovering from the injury I supplanted my running regime with some of my wife’s Jillian Michaels workouts. Her program focuses on 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and one minute of abs.

Ironically, it’s the strength portion that leads me to believe that barefooting burns more calories. The exercises in the strength portion involve a lot of movement. For example, Jillian has you do bicep curls as  you do lunges. The idea is to work more muscles at once; thereby burning more calories. By burning more calories, she assures me that I’ll be able to fit into that “strapless dress”. (HMMM, I don’t think the neighbors would be too keen on a barefoot Indian dude with tattoos running down the street in a strapless dress.  )

So, what the heck does that have to with barefooting? Remember my new lower leg?  Walking barefoot puts all of the muscles of your lower leg into action. So much so, that lower leg and foot shape have visibly changed. Since barefooting puts more muscles to work, it stands to reason that it burns more calories. Probably not a truckload more, but step by step a little more than shoes.



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2 Replies to “How I turned my Legs into Calorie Burning Machines”

  1. Hi Valen,
    I would have thought after 3 years+ of barefoot running I would have known it all by now but, there is always more to learn.
    I pulled my calf back in September and in my keenness to get back to running and to get a half marathon run on Christmas day completed I did lots of calf drops as you did. I was still getting Achilles soreness (or so I thought) but it would disappear after I got up in the morning or once I got a few km into my run.
    I did the run on Christmas day and 5km in my calf popped and I limped back. I tore my soleus. It has been 4 weeks now and I have just completed my second recovery run of 7km along the beach. I shall not be doing calf drops this time around. They have worked for me in the past when I did suffer from some tendon pain but I guess I overworked the soleus when I did calf drops then into a race. Barefoot running alone is enough to strengthen the lower leg muscles

    1. Thanks for commenting. Sorry to hear about the calf blow out. That sucks. The advice I read online about continuing through the pain on calf drops is BAD advice. Thank goodness, my injury wasn’t too severe.
      Lately I’ve been doing pilates on calisthenics on the days I don’t run. Boosting my core strength has helped my form quit a bit. Lower leg issues are hardly a problem for me anymore.

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